Both cross country teams qualify for national championships

2018 NCAA cross country championships logo

The UCCS men’s and women’s cross country teams received at-large bids to compete at the 2018 NCAA Division II Championships Dec. 1 in Pittsburgh. The NCAA announced the full list of teams and student-athletes Nov. 19.

The teams will run at the Bob O’Conner Golf Course at Schenley Park. Clarion University of Pennsylvania, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania and SportsPITTSBURGH will serve as hosts. The men’s race will begin at 19 a.m. MST, followed by the women’s race at 10:15 a.m. MST. FloTrack will provide live coverage of the race.

UCCS is one of 18 teams to have both men’s and women’s teams qualify for this year’s national championship race.

The UCCS women’s program is making its ninth appearance at the NCAA championship meet, including their third straight trip and sixth in the last seven years. UCCS also qualified in 2017, 2016, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2006, 2004 and 2000. The Mountain Lions, ranked No. 25 in the latest USTFCCCA national poll, are coming off a fourth-place finish at the NCAA South Central Regional race in Denver Nov. 17.

The Mountain Lions men’s program, currently ranked No. 16 in Division II, is making its sixth appearance in program history, and their first as a team since 2014. UCCS finished fifth out of 26 teams at the regional race. This marks the Mountain Lions fifth national appearance in the last 10 years (2018, 2014, 2012, 2011, 2008); UCCS first qualified in 2004.

Seven men’s and seven women’s teams from the South Central Region qualified for the national championship, including six for each gender from the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. The RMAC set a new NCAA DII record for most team’s qualifying for the national championship from one conference.

In order to be eligible to participate in the championships, teams and individuals had to qualify in their respective NCAA regional competitions that were held this past weekend.

Thirty-four teams were selected to participate in each championship. The top three, seven-person teams automatically qualified from each of the eight regions, for a total of 24 teams. Ten additional teams were selected at-large. A minimum of 24 additional individuals were selected to participate in each championship through an automatic qualifier and at-large selection process.

–by Sarah Meier, Athletics

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